The first mile is always the hardest, it’s like my body isn’t quite sure what’s going on and my muscles are all a little too stiff and my pace feels janky and I feel stupidly self-concious and focused on tugging at my clothes since everything seems to be heading towards an unflattering, uncomfortable location.

Then at some point my core tightens and I sort of lift up and re-arrange myself. My shoulders pull back, my arms move smoothly, my legs feel strong and good. I find a rhythm and work within it. My breath made of steady deep breaths: I leave uniform plumes of cold-air smoke. Music is playing in my ears and I am thinking of nothing and everything. I am in a powerful current that’s moving through me and I am moving through it and the world is flashing by like some great colorful swirl and my heart is straining at my chest with pure joy.

And . . . then there’s a hill or a side cramp or a growing ache in my knees or ankles or I simply for whatever reason fall out of that wonderful pocket and once again become all too aware of my pounding feet, the distance I’ve still got to go, the fact that my stupid waistband won’t stay put and my ponytail’s coming undone.

I think everyone can agree running feels good when you’re done, but I never really believed that it could feel good while you’re doing it. Now I know: it can. Even if it’s only for a short while, between the awkward warmup and the tired ending. Man, I wish I could bottle it and pour you a glass.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
75 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
LauraC
13 years ago

The more you run, the more you learn to prolong the runner’s high. It’s hard to describe the beauty of it. I ran before getting pregnant. Had to take a year off due to bed rest and twins and the first run afterwards, ran 5 miles high the entire time. Could also have been the sleep deprivation.

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

Did you read that article in the NYT about how exercise cures anxiety? Something about causing new cells to grow in the brain or something. Anyway, I love your writing about exercise.

Christina
13 years ago

Some days are great and other are not. That is my motto. Some times I feel like I could run for miles and miles without stopping and no complaints. And other days… mmm not so much.

pixielation
13 years ago

I love that feeling too. And just think – it also cancels out some of your “reasons not to run…” on the decision tree post!

(love your blog, btw)

Leslie
13 years ago

I started running last spring for weight loss and by summer, was doing it pretty reguarly (though I’ve been slack lately). My first four minutes are always the worst. I wonder why I even do it. But 8 minutes in? I remember why.

ginger
ginger
13 years ago

I heard about that magical pocket, but I never felt it in a year of running. (And then my knees gave out completely.) I am jealous.

Emily
13 years ago

And then occasionally, and by occasionally, I mean once every… two or three months? You will have this spectacular run, where you only stop because it’s dark or you have to be home or you’re going to be late, and it feels phenomenal. You feel like you could just run and run and run forever, and it’s the most amazing feeling in the entire world. But you can never predict when it will happen. It’s THE BEST.

beach
beach
13 years ago

Have been running for the past 5 years but had an injury in August that made me stop for a while. I am back at it recently, and the suck is slowly giving way to the JOY moments.For me it also combats the “wanting to pour a glass”.Great post .

Lori
13 years ago

I’ve been running steadily since I was 13. And I’ve run a lot having completed two Ironman races. Rarely is it smooth right out of the gate. Sometimes 1/2 mile, sometimes a whole mile. But it always smooths out and I always feel better at the finish than I did before leaving the house.

I tell beginner runners not to quit before it feels good. I think that’s what happens to folks, they don’t realise that it will feel better and they quit.

Becky Mochaface
13 years ago

Totally. There are runs where I just seem to sail through them. And runs where it is all I can do to just finish.

haitian american family of three

You people are making me want to go running.

Jennifer
Jennifer
13 years ago

I wish you could bottle it up for me, too! I just can’t get motivated to start a workout/running program and stick with it. Could have something to do with a full-time job, full-time school, three kids (11,5,16-months)with extracurricular activities and school and a husband who travels for his job. I know, excuses. But I’m cutting myself some slack until I graduate in February.

Michelle
13 years ago

I have been running for about 4 months. I am up to about 4 miles a day. It amazes me how on some days, it is just exactly how you describe: I am an awkward, uncoordinated mess…then on other days, everything clicks, and I am a runner!

Annie
Annie
13 years ago

I wish I could read a running post from you EVERY day. I follow your training posts on Bodies and they ROCK. I’m a “wannabe” runner… struggled thru a 5K and LOVED it but somehow haven’t been able to drag my ass out of bed in the mornings to run… at all. I read your posts just hoping that one of these days I’ll actually get up and put on the pile of running clothes that I (optimistically) continue to set out at night.

I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know ya!!! Keep it coming.

Ris
Ris
13 years ago

You said it, lady. Most of the time it sucks and I don’t like running (until after I’m done-then I feel great) but then there are days where I feel like there are wings on my feet and I’m on the verge of flight. Those days make every blister, shorts bunch, and stitch in my side totally worth it.

willikat
13 years ago

I wish you could, too. Pour me a glass.

My one thing about running is that I’m worried about the toll it takes on a body and its joints. But I can run; strangely, out of all the things I’m NOT good at in the athletic realm (and it’s a LOT, besides hauling off and smashing a mean tennis serve), I can run.

Sundry
Sundry
13 years ago

Willikat: you should read “Born to Run”. Really eye-opening about our bodies’ natural running abilities and how it’s possible typical strain/injuries are caused by fancy expensive uber-cushioned SHOES (!).

Catherine
Catherine
13 years ago

you make me want to run… and lose the 10 lbs of baby weight I just put on plus the other 10 I’ve put on since the end of college. thanks for the poetic description of the torture/bliss that is working out. I am actually ITCHING to go run right now, even though my baby is sleeping and it is 10 at night.

Diana
Diana
13 years ago

Started running -again- yesterday…it felt just like you say…can still feel the HIGH…Thank you for reminding me :)

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

I’m still waiting for that comfortable part of the run. I’m infinitely stuck in the Tugging At The Clothes Awkward Warm-up part. Of course, if I could get my butt out there more than once or twice a week, that would probably help. heh

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

You’ve summed up the beginning absolutely perfectly. While I was reading, I was nodding and saying, “Yes, that’s it exactly.” As for the comfortable part, maybe for one minute or two. Hopefully if I keep at it, that part will start getting a little longer. And yes, it feels so good afterward!

Shelly
13 years ago

You are making me want to run.

amandak
amandak
13 years ago

I am running my second half marathon this weekend, and I wanted to say: YES, EXACTLY.

Mandy
Mandy
13 years ago

I’m no runner, but you have inspired me to get my butt to the gym – for the past three weeks I’ve been 4 times a week – I rearranged my schedule so I can sneek in a workout between daycare dropoff and work in the morning. For now I’m focusing on heart rate and overall health improvement. Maybe running in the future, but for now I stand taller for my efforts, and I’d like to say thank you to you for being part of my inspiration – being a working mom is no excuse to not take care of myself too.

dorrie
dorrie
13 years ago

Is it not wonderful? Back in the days when I would get up super early to run, my mind would literally wake up after the first mile and I would look around outside and be all, huh…I am on a run! Weird. It is so inspiring to read how your running journey is going…keep up the good work. And don’t worry, you’re not going to crap your pants during the half.

ErinM
ErinM
13 years ago

Started running with Couch to 5K last spring and quit running by July 4th due to injury. Back at it for the last two months, slowly but surely, and finding the high again. Your writing inspires me to look at my awkward start with some hope and confidence that it’ll get better. Like Dory says…just keep swimming…or running! :)

dani
dani
13 years ago

thanks for the book recommendation in your comments – i’ve been forced out of running due to injury and am trying to get my hands on anything and everything that can get me over it and back in. i miss that feeling. a lot.

jessica
jessica
13 years ago

yes! yesterday I ran 4 miles and was like “wha? over so soon?” and really felt, if not for my husband needing to go to work and me needing to care for the kid, i could have run for HOURS, but today, oh today it took everything in me to get through 3miles. I only felt “really good” for about a half mile. I’m sort of finding, for myself, that the run after a rest day is one of those euphoric runs, and my long distance runs – after the first 1-1.5miles feel that way too. it’s the daily, maintaining 3mi runs that I seem to be trudging through and not really “enjoying”. maybe a change of scenery would help with that…

anyhow – yeah, figure out a way to bottle that shit. I’d pay a small fortune for it. I could use a little runner’s high right about now!

Leah
13 years ago

I’ve never been able to find that happy place while running. The whole thing is one long complaint from every part of my body.

willikat
13 years ago

Hey! Thanks! I will definitely check that out.

Trenches of Mommyhood
13 years ago

Hear hear! I wholeheartedly agree. I just hate the fact that there’s no rhyme or reason whether today is going to be a Good Run or a Bad Run…although a run is a Run, right?!

casse auto
8 years ago

I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me know so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

litecoin mining
8 years ago

Yo, has anyone heard about that electrician in Tribeca called New York Electrician, 94 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007 (646) 415-6723

Janette
Janette
8 years ago

Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

Clash of Clans iPad cheat

In conclusion, clash of clans hack tool no survey has, and will
continue too be an important building block for the world in whgich we live.
Clash of Clans Hack Tool Features: Unlimited Gems Unlimited Elexir Unlimited Resources Unlimited Gold Works with PC,
Mac OS X ass well as thee end of their world, Cybertron. Posturing as concrned patriarchs, many politicians
guide the electorate herd to the inevitable cattle shwd of ‘equal opportunity.

my web blog – Clash of Clans iPad cheat

invention companies
8 years ago

I know this web site gives quality based articles or reviews and
extra material, is there any other web page which gives such things in quality?

reviewonmusclemaximizer.tumblr.com

Might I ask if you are fine with fee based posts?
All I’d need is for you to draft content
material on behalf of me and simply a web link
or mention of my site. I really could pay you.

www.ferraripackaging.co.uk

After the confession is made the Real World judges will rate the confession via signage with pre-made phrases (i.
Erik van den Dolder, a blond with a receeding forehead likes to
attend the Airbus-meetings in his Harley Davidson, and speaks English and German with a soft Dutch accent, said that he was working with
Samuel in the same US firm and both were unhappy about the
US products because they were old, not innovative, despite
the fact that there was a big European market out there, waiting to be conquered.

This will provide patches for Outlook and other MS programs.

Isabel Marant Boots
8 years ago

Isabel Marant Boots Isabel Marant Heels VHtPM Ho aspettato per
un po ‘, in modo da poter comprare e non vedere come il sapore si sviluppa.
Una guida Luca Turin e Tania Sanchez: Per la cronaca, mi piace il libro Profumo..
Isabel Marant Sneakers Isabel Marant Heels jnqik Per raccontare la storia del sacchetto di
plastica, abbiamo bisogno di alcune parole dal
materiale di cui è fatta passare: polietilene. E quanti materiali che ogni giorno, nel
nostro tempo e l’età, succede che il polietilene è stato scoperto?
per errore. Isabel Marant Sandals Isabel Marant Fall 2013 nteXo Prezzo: EUR 20,75 adulti, 17,75 dollari fienile ordinrt
studenti e honnr per l’ammissione ai Harsco Science Center, più mostra Titanic
USD 24,75 adulti, 21,75 dollari fienile e studenti honnr per l’ammissione al
Harsco Science Center ordinrt Titanix più
esposizione e una vista di 45 minuti Imax documentaryPennsylvania disegno di legge richiederebbe scuole Aggiunta di
In God We Trust Stato mottoOhio frantumazione Penn State 42
7 p Half:. Aggiornamenti in tempo reale, tutte le domande e conversazione.
Isabel Marant Sandals Isabel Marant Boots fWfSc Penso anche che le differenze
culturali tra i due tipi è nella direzione opposta. L’Europa sembra
essere la tendenza verso il miglioramento della qualità di profitti più elevati, mentre gli Stati Uniti
sembrano tendere verso la diminuzione della qualità (aka risparmio)
per un aumento dei profitti. Isabel Marant Fall 2013 Isabel Marant Heels Adzjp Slingshot è una compressione acqua macchina di purificazione gas, che può produrre circa 30 litri di
acqua distillata pura al 100% all’ora con la stessa potenza di un consumatore asciugacapelli.
Può trasformare l’acqua sporca da una sorgente, fiumi,
oceani, e persino liquami.

Isabel Marant Sneakers Isabel Marant Sneakers blBQJ Infatti,
abbiamo dimostrato, ad esempio, una elevata prevalenza di insufficienza di vitamina D o carenza nei bambini sani (Oliveri et al, 1993; GUILLEMANT et al, 1995, 1999; Docio et al, 1998; Lehtonen Veromaa et al, 1999; El Hajj Fuleihan et al, 2001).
Mentre rachitismo nutrizionale erano stati associati a grave
carenza di vitamina D, studi in Sud Africa, ha suggerito
che la carenza di calcio nella dieta grave può anche causare
il rachitismo in presenza di carenza di vitamina D, piuttosto
che la carenza (Thatcher et al, 1999).. Isabel Marant Boots Isabel
Marant Heels RVeMk Borse Chloe sono in cima
alla scala di popolarità, e la causa della sua popolarità, Chloe
sta producendo vari nuovi progetti e originale Paddington Paddington Bag è una tale borsa.

Tuttavia, Chloe Paddington non è la borsa Chloe che è solo un grande successo, ma Betty e EdithTaschen borse sono anche clamorosamente successo..
Isabel Marant Fall 2013 Isabel Marant Fall 2013 CdoPJ Inoltre parlando per esperienza, preferirei essere a piedi nudi quando ero.
Ci si sente più a suo agio e si sentono più legati a tutto ciò che intorno a me.

breathing exercises
8 years ago

I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work
and reporting! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

garment bag
8 years ago

What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively useful and
it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different
customers like its helped me. Great job.

Probioticsupplement.Info

I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This
paragraph posted at this website is truly nice.

microsoft toolkit 2.5 b\u00f6rse

The main goal of these devices is voice communication;
however through data plans and web applications,
users can have unlimited access to the web. Other
fonts may be substituted if they are not embedded in a PDF.
This would include your name and title or tag line, as
appropriate, phone number, website, and email address.

write my essay
8 years ago

Fine way of explaining, and fastidious paragraph to
obtain facts concerning my presentation subject,
which i am going to convey in school.

Here is my blog post – write my essay

pas cher nike dunk sky hi pas cher

I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, however good topic.
I must spend a while studying much more or understanding more.
Thank you for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

https://facebook.com/DiamondDiggerSagaHack

I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering
problems with your website. It seems like some of the written text
within your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know
if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
Many thanks

คณะศิลปกรรมศาสตร์

Wonderful article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website.
Keep up the great writing.

Location vacances
8 years ago

wonderful issues altogether, you just gained a brand new reader.
What might you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made some days in the past?
Any sure?

http://dbvehicleelectrics.wordpress.com/

Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I
will be waiting for your further write ups
thanks once again.

Sherman
8 years ago

Although it might depend abc onn the level of security,
the lower the premium. One of the most anticipated days
in ateenager’s young life — getting a driver’s license, would convince their parents to teach them how to drive you can save.
The first thing you need to do is to save up a bit of
money.